Bohumil Hrabal

Cutting It Short
  • Cutting It Short

  • Bohumil Hrabal

    'As I crammed the cream horn voraciously into my mouth, at once I heard Francin's voice saying that no decent woman would eat a cream puff like that'

    In a quiet town where not much happens, Maryska, the flamboyant brewer's wife, stands out. She cuts her skirt short so that she can ride her bicycle, her golden hair flying out behind her. She butchers pigs. She drinks and eats with relish. And when the garrulous ranconteur Uncle Pepin comes to visit the locals are scandalized even further, in Bohumil Hrabal's affecting, exuberant portrayal of a small central European community between the wars.

    'One of the greatest European prose writers' Philip Roth

    'Hrabal combines good humour and hilarity with tenderness' Observer

Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997) was born and raised in Brno in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After working as a railway labourer, insurance agent, travelling salesman, manual labourer, paper-packer and stagehand, he published a collection of poetry that was quickly withdrawn by the communist regime. He went on to become one of the most important and most admired Czech writers of the 20th century; his best-known books include I Served the King of England, Closely Watched Trains (made into an Academy Award-winning film directed by Jiri Menzel) and Too Loud a Solitude. He fell to his death from the fifth floor of a Prague hospital, apparently trying to feed the pigeons.